URBES is a three-year research project funded by BiodivERsA that aims to bridge the knowledge gap on the links between urbanization, ecosystem services and biodiversity. URBES runs during 2012 through 2014.
Urban landscapes are the everyday environment for the majority of the global population and more than 75 per cent of Europeans live in urban areas. The continuous increase in the number and size of urban regions, and the ensuing transformation of landscapes on different scales, pose great challenges for reducing the rate of loss of biodiversity and for ensuring human welfare.
The understanding of how urban ecosystems work, how they change and what limits their performance, can add to the understanding of ecosystem change and governance in general in an ever more human-dominated world.
URBES builds on case studies of four European cities: Berlin, Rotterdam, Salzburg and Stockholm. Some studies are also done on the cities of Barcelona, Helsinki and New York. The research consortium consists of eleven world-leading research institutes on social-ecological studies of urban areas, based in Europe and one in USA (New York). Helsinki University and The New School (New York) participate as self-funded partners.